The iPad Pro vs the competition

The iPad Pro is the biggest, most powerful iPad Apple has ever produced – but how does it stack up against some of its large-screen tablet rivals?

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  • microsoft surface pro 4 Microsoft Surface Pro 4
  • samsung galaxy view Samsung Galaxy View
  • lenovo Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
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iPad Pro

Price: from £679 More Info

Thanks to a faster processor and more RAM, the iPad Pro can enable a new class of applications that feel as powerful as desktop apps.

Using the Pencil is awesome. It feels natural, and it writes naturally. Drawing and even just doodling with it are wonderful experiences thanks to the pressure sensitivity and tilt detection that help it act more or less as you would expect, with very little lag. 

Some work apps really do benefit from a bigger canvas: drawing apps, editing photos, apps with a lot of tools like iMovie are a natural for a larger screen. And when you’re working with two apps side by side, it’s great to be able to give each of them the space of an entire iPad Air.

The iPad Pro isn’t as capable a work machine as a Mac, but it’s a way better iPad than a Mac. Also, as big as it is, the iPad Pro feels a lot lighter in a shoulder bag than a 13-inch MacBook Air, even with the Smart Keyboard, which bulks the iPad Pro up to 2.3 pounds.

Still, compared to using a laptop, the iPad Pro is just less comfortable all around. It's not possible to adjust the angle of the screen, for example.

The speakers are better than previous iPads, which does make a difference when using the iPad Pro as an entertainment device.

Battery life is excellent - starting a workday at 85 percent charged, we didn’t get the 10 percent warning until almost 4 p.m. The tablet ships with a 12-watt USB power adapter for charging.

Read our full iPad Pro review here

Display: 12.9-inches, 2732x2048 resolution (264ppi)

Processor: A9X & M9

Memory/Storage: 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB SSD

Ports: Lightning connector & Smart connector

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Next Prev ipad pro smart keyboard review 1

Price: from £679 More Info

Thanks to a faster processor and more RAM, the iPad Pro can enable a new class of applications that feel as powerful as desktop apps.

Using the Pencil is awesome. It feels natural, and it writes naturally. Drawing and even just doodling with it are wonderful experiences thanks to the pressure sensitivity and tilt detection that help it act more or less as you would expect, with very little lag. 

Some work apps really do benefit from a bigger canvas: drawing apps, editing photos, apps with a lot of tools like iMovie are a natural for a larger screen. And when you’re working with two apps side by side, it’s great to be able to give each of them the space of an entire iPad Air.

The iPad Pro isn’t as capable a work machine as a Mac, but it’s a way better iPad than a Mac. Also, as big as it is, the iPad Pro feels a lot lighter in a shoulder bag than a 13-inch MacBook Air, even with the Smart Keyboard, which bulks the iPad Pro up to 2.3 pounds.

Still, compared to using a laptop, the iPad Pro is just less comfortable all around. It's not possible to adjust the angle of the screen, for example.

The speakers are better than previous iPads, which does make a difference when using the iPad Pro as an entertainment device.

Battery life is excellent - starting a workday at 85 percent charged, we didn’t get the 10 percent warning until almost 4 p.m. The tablet ships with a 12-watt USB power adapter for charging.

Read our full iPad Pro review here

Display: 12.9-inches, 2732x2048 resolution (264ppi)

Processor: A9X & M9

Memory/Storage: 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB SSD

Ports: Lightning connector & Smart connector

 

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Price: from £749 More Info

Apple always said that the iPad wasn’t meant to replace a laptop, but the success of Microsoft’s Surface range proved that there was a demand for convertible devices that could double up as both laptop and tablet, and led directly to the launch of the iPad Pro.

The Surface range is now in its fourth generation, and the new Surface Pro 4 is a really attractive option if you need a tablet that can run Windows 10. The 12.3-inch screen of the Surface Pro 4 is a little smaller than the 12.9-inches of the iPad Pro but the 2736x1824 resolution provides excellent image quality for streaming video, editing photos or just number-crunching in Excel.

Prices start at £749.00 for a model with an Intel Core M processor, 4GB of memory and 128GB solid-state storage. The iPad Pro has an edge on speed, thanks to Apple’s impressive A9X processor, but the Surface Pro 4 provides more storage than the entry-level iPad Pro and also throws in a stylus as well, so the two devices are pretty evenly matched on overall value for money. However, the Surface Pro 4 wins hands down on connectivity, with a USB 3.0 port that makes it easy to plug in memory sticks and other devices, and a mini-DisplayPort for connecting to a larger TV or monitor.

The Surface Pro 4 also provides a much wider range of upgrades, and the sweet spot for us looks like the £849.00 model, which replaces the Core M with a more powerful Core i5 processor. There’s even a high-end model with a Core i7 processor and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB storage – although those options push price way past the £1000 mark, and pit the Surface against the MacBook Pro rather than the iPad Pro.

Read: iPad Pro versus Surface Pro 4

Display: 12.3-inches, 2736x1824 resolution (267ppi)

Processor: Intel Core M

Memory/Storage: 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

Ports: USB 3.0, microSD, mini-DisplayPort

 

Samsung Galaxy View

Price: from £749 More Info

Samsung refers to the Galaxy View as a ‘mobile screen’ rather than a tablet, and the focus for this 18.4-inch colossus is very much on entertainment and video.

In some ways, the Galaxy View is a fairly straightforward Android tablet. It runs the Lollipop (5.1) version of Android, using a 1.6GHz ‘octa-core’ processor, 2GB memory and the same 32GB of storage as the entry-level iPad Pro – although the Galaxy View does have a memory card slot that lets you add up to 128GB extra storage if required. Samsung’s being a bit coy about UK pricing, although it’s just gone on sale in the US for $499.00 so hopefully it’ll be somewhere around the £400 mark here in the UK. 

But, of course, it’s the humungous 18.4-inch screen that makes the Galaxy View stand out. To put the emphasis on video, Samsung has given the Galaxy View a special home screen – similar to the tiled Start menu of Windows 8 – that lists video services rather than apps. Somewhat surprisingly, the screen only has conventional HD resolution of 1920x1080, so it certainly can’t match the high-quality display of the iPad Pro. Even so, it’ll still be perfectly fine for watching HD video, and a spot of casual gaming every now and then – which, to be fair, is all that it’s really designed for.

The sheer size and 2.6kg weight of the Galaxy View mean that it’s no use as a general purpose tablet, but if you just think of it as a portable TV that you can carry from room to room at home then it could actually come in quite handy.

Display: 18.4-inches, 1920x1080 resolution (120ppi)

Processor: Samsung Oct-core 1.6GHz

Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD

Ports: microSD card

 

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Price: £399 More Info

Lenovo’s Yoga Tab 3 Pro only has a 10-inch screen, but it does have one large-screen trick up its sleeve that the iPad Pro can’t compete with.

The 10.1-inch screen provides quad-HD resolution (2560x1600) with excellent image quality when you’re watching streaming video or browsing through your photos. The tablet runs Android 5.1, with a quad-core Intel Atom processor that provides respectable performance for basic tasks such as browsing the web or playing simple games, although it can’t match the sheer speed of the A9X processor in the iPad Pro. The Tab 3 Pro only has 32GB of internal storage, but there’s a little slot for a memory card on the back, which will allow you to add up to 128GB of extra storage. The main limitation, though, is the modest 2GB of memory – that should be fine for email and a spot of wordprocessing but won’t be ideal for more demanding applications that require a lot of memory.

It is, however, great for watching video, as the cylindrical bulge that runs along the bottom of the tablet somehow manages to squeeze in a tiny little projector that you can use to display the screen image on any convenient wall. The image isn’t spectacularly bright, and you probably wouldn’t watch to watch the entire Lord Of The Rings trilogy on it, but the image will stretch up to 70-inches in size, and works a treat for shorter videos and even impromptu business presentations. Battery life isn’t bad either, lasting around 10 hours – so you could watch the entire Lord Of The Rings trilogy on it if you really wanted to.

Display: 10.1-inches,2560x1600 resolution (298.9ppi)

Processor: Intel Atom Z8500, 1.44GHz, quad-core

Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD

Ports: microSD card

 

Hannspree 133 Titan

Price: £169.00 More Info

If you’re looking for a large-screen tablet but you’re on a bit of a tight budget then you should definitely take a look at the new 133 Titan from Hannspree.

The modestly named Titan costs only £169.00, yet provides a 13.3-inch screen with 1920x1080 resolution. That’s nowhere near the resolution of the iPad Pro of course, but the image quality is fine for watching streaming video on Netflix or YouTube, or browsing through your photo library.

The Titan is equipped with a quad-core A9 processor – but one developed by ARM, rather than Apple (although we suspect there may be a bit of shared digital DNA in there somewhere). It’s not a heavyweight processor, running at a modest 1.6GHz, but it can handle web browsing and routine tasks such as wordprocessing and simple games perfectly well.

The memory and storage are a bit tight, but that’s unavoidable given the tablet’s low price. It only runs the old Android 4.4, and its 2GB memory and just 16GB of internal storage mean that the Titan won’t be able to handle the sort of heavy-duty applications that the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface can breeze through. There is a slot for a memory card, but this will only allow you to add another 32GB of memory. However, the tablet also has a micro-USB port so you can transfer files onto external USB devices, and there’s a micro-HDMI port for connecting to a larger TV or monitor. The Titan won’t be replacing your laptop anytime soon, but you could buy four of them for the price of an iPad Pro, and it’ll work a treat if you just need a large, affordable tablet for watching streaming video and browsing the web.

Display: 13.3-inches, 1920x1080 resolution (165.6ppi)

Processor: ARM Cortex A9, 1.6GHz, quad-core

Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD

Ports: microSD card, micro-USB, micro-HDMI

Read next:

iPad Buying Guide

iPad mini 3 versus iPad mini 4

iPad mini 2 versus iPad mini 4

iPad Pro versus iPad Air 2

iPad Pro versus MacBook Air

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